Monday, June 30, 2014

Money In Bank: Entertaining Despite Being Predictable

It has fairly easy for Money in the Bank to exceed my expectations because heading in they were very low. Daniel Bryan had some bad news for his recovery and basically admitted some of the things that had been reported about his recovery. He stated he had no idea when he would return and even implied he may require another surgery. Bo Dallas would come out and interrupt and give Daniel some cheesy inspiration to which Daniel responded that Bo was acting like a Bonner and he told Bo that on behalf of himself and fans he suggested BoLeave. Speaking of Bad News that would be for Wade Barrett whose injury on Smackdown was confirmed and the fact he would not participate in the Money in the Bank match. There would be no replacement but after that match took place no one would be complaining.

So here is a rundown of the show with thoughts on each match.

Usos vs. Wyatts
: This was the opening match and it was really tremendous. I didn’t give the Usos much chance to win this match but they surprised me. It was a wild match that featured all kinds of crazy dived ever from Luke Harper. The Usos finished this match off with back to back splashes from the top rope that looked real cool and gave them the three counts and win to retain their titles. I would hope this feud continues but with a clean win not sure how it would be justified in storyline. It was all you would expect from an opening match.

Divas Title: Paige vs. Naomi
: Rare we get a women’s match in this spot but with two female matches on the card these ladies got a chance to be in a good spot. The match was fairly entertaining and it really showed the athletic ability of Naomi. Paige really was being as usual booked as the underdog which I fail to understand. Paige did get some spots to shine in this match and did eventually get the win. Cameron was on the outside and the story was she was totally disinterested and almost wanted Naomi to win. She did go to check on Naomi after the match acting like she did care.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: The match started with Dean Ambrose charging the ring and going right after Seth Rollins they brawled to the floor and Ambrose took him right into the time keeper area. There were tons of unique spots in this match far too many to mention but one that needs to be noted is Kofi Kingston. He was climbing the ladder and I don’t remember who send him off the ladder but what happened after was amazing. Kofi landed on the top rope and sprung off the rope and dove on the four other competitors that were on the floor.

Dean Ambrose would sell a shoulder injury and the doctor would come out and rule Ambrose out of the match and we were down to 5 competitors in the match. If you thought the injury was legit it would be proven later it likely was not. Ambrose would return and stop Rollins from getting the case. Ambrose would have his chance to get the belt and Kane would come out and lay waste to Ambrose leaving the path clear for Rollins. Seth would win the match as expected but what a match it was.

In general I loved how this match was booked with a real urgency on behalf of all the competitors to get to the briefcase. There were many spots with 3 or more on people on the ladder this was true in the WWE World Championship match later. It felt like this match had a new agent booking it or some influence that has not been there in the past. I liked the logic and psychology of both ladder matches.

Dean Ambrose showed his brilliant ability to sell in this match and I think he has become the number one guy at this aspect in the company. He was the most over superstar on this show and that is saying a lot as it was set up for Roman Reigns to be that guy. Reigns would get huge reactions later in the other ladder match but not to the level of Ambrose.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match
: Heading into the match all signs pointed to John Cena winning this match which he eventually did but they did a good job of teasing he would not. If the truth is told the Money in the Bank match kind of overshadowed this match. It kind of speaks to the hungry of guys still trying to climb to the main event level and guys who were already there.

Randy Orton took a ladder shot to the head off a fall that split him open. He would have doctors take a look at the cut and did something to stop the bleeding for the moment. The one thing that stood out in this match was a huge run by Roman Reigns where he basically took out 5 or 6 of the competitors in succession. Reigns would make a push for the belt but Orton would climb ladder on same side. Reigns smashed Orton into the ladder opening up the cut from earlier. Wrestling Observer website would later report that Orton needed to have 11 or 12 staples to his head to close the gash. Reigns would be cut off by Kane. Just like in the Rollins match earlier Kane was there to make sure that Orton won.

However as Randy Orton was attempting to climb John Cena would take out Kane holding the ladder an Attitude Adjustment and than drag Orton down and give him the same and climb the ladder to grab the titles and win the match. Some of the crowd did pop even though Cena was booed loudly a few times earlier in the night. So if fans are forced to have Cena or Orton as champion some would prefer Orton. Anyway the expected finish and John Cena is now a 15 time Champion and if that wasn’t enough to make you puke Michael Cole in selling the win declared John Cena the greatest champion of all-time.

Other Matches: Big E took the loss to Rusev as expected and Big E continued the same preacher gimmick in a promo prior to this. The match was decent but still did little for Big E and continued building Rusev. Stardust and Goldust had a match with Ryback and Axel and got the uneventful win. The only note from this was Axel is wearing a singlet like Ryback that looks stupid. Summer Rae and Layla went at it with Fandango was the ref. His ref shirt was awesome, Summer Rae’s acting ability after she ended up losing was so bad I am convince Marine 4 has a chance to be the worst move ever. A bonus match with Adam Rose that saw him paired Damien Sandow. Sandow was funny and lost.

Only other thing of note was Bri Bella and Stephanie had an interaction in the back teasing the idea of a Bri vs. Stephanie down the line.

In general this show went much as I suspected it would in terms of results but I enjoyed it. I had low expectations heading in which included knowing John Cena would win. I am truly amazed that these guys still have ways to invent new spots in these ladder matches. I always feel like we have seen it all and than we get a ton of new stuff in matches like this.

What this means for Battleground in 3 weeks remains to be seen. It was about as good as you could have hoped for heading towards Summerslam given the cards they have been dealt.  I found it amusing the strong push for the WWE Network where the majority of the audience on PPV is foreign and not domestic. Is the WWE telling me to break the law and buy the network? If I am going to break the law to watch the show that might not be the choice I would make.

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